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How much does a home security system cost?

Prices vary for equipment, installation and monitoring fees

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
ADT, Vivint Smart Home, Vector Security and Frontpoint
woman checking home alarm

Investing in a home security system helps protect your home and family. Homeowners use these systems to monitor their property and summon emergency services if necessary. Equipment and monitoring fees can be costly, but the peace of mind often outweighs the price tag. This guide will explain what you can expect to pay for a home security system and the different factors that affect the cost.

Average cost of a home security system

On average, you can expect to pay around $30 per month for monitoring. The monthly fee for monitoring ranges from $20 to $50, depending on the company.  Equipment costs vary more significantly, but starter packages typically cost from $100 to $200. There are a few upfront costs you can expect when purchasing a home security system. These costs may include:

Home security monitoring fees range from $20 to $50 per month.
  • Equipment: If you're purchasing the equipment upfront, you'll need to pay the full cost of your equipment package. This can range from $99 to upward of $500, depending on the company and the equipment you want.
  • Down payment: If your equipment costs are bundled into your monthly service fee, you may need to pay a down payment or security deposit. If companies require a down payment, it’s usually around $100.
  • Installation: If professional installation is required or desired, many companies charge a one-time installation cost. Installation fees range from $100 to $200.
  • Activation: Activation fees are typically included in installation costs. If an activation fee is charged as a stand-alone fee, you can expect to pay a one-time cost of $25 to $199.

Buying a home security system: cost considerations

The total costs of a new home security system depend on a few factors, such as the services included, the equipment costs and the company's pricing model. Many home security providers bundle equipment costs into the monthly monitoring cost. In these cases, you'll be locked into a contract ranging from one to five years. You may incur early termination fees if you cancel your monitoring services before your contract is up.

A few additional charges are associated with buying a home security system. Depending on your location and the type of device, you may need to apply for an alarm permit with emergency services in your city. You should also factor in the annual cost of replacing batteries or ordering new equipment like additional cameras or key fobs. For more, compare our picks for top cheap home security systems.

Security system cost comparison

Below, compare four popular home security companies on monthly monitoring fees, upfront costs, financing options, cancellation fees, contract terms and money-back guarantees. Click “Read reviews” to find more company details and to read verified customer reviews and complaints.

adt logovivint logofrontpoint logovector security logo
Monthly monitoring fee*$28.99 to $52.99$29.99 to $44.99$44.40 and up$44.95 to $69.95
Upfront starting cost*Varies$599.99$99Varies
Installation cost*$99 to $199$99$0$0
Interest-free financing available
Contract terms36 monthsOptionalOptional1 to 3 years
Cancellation fee75% of remaining contract100% of remaining contract80% of remaining contractUndisclosed
Money-back guarantee6 months30 days30 days
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviews

*At the time of publishing

adt logo$28.99 to $52.99Varies$99 to $19936 months75% of remaining contract6 monthsRead reviews
vivint logo$29.99 to $44.99$599.99$99Optional100% of remaining contract30 daysRead reviews
frontpoint logo$44.40 and up$99$0Optional80% of remaining contract30 daysRead reviews
vector security logo$44.95 to $69.95Varies$01 to 3 yearsUndisclosedRead reviews

Home security cost FAQ

How much does an alarm system save on homeowners insurance?
A home security system can reduce your insurance premium by 2% to 20%. The amount you can save depends on your insurance provider and the type of security system you have. Systems that include monitoring, fire detection and carbon monoxide detection will offer the greatest savings.
Do home security companies offer warranties or repair support plans?
Yes, most top home security companies offer warranties and repair coverage. In many cases, this applies only to systems professionally installed by the provider. There are exclusions to these warranties, with plans not covering battery replacement or damage to touch screens.
Do home security companies charge early termination fees?
If you cancel before the term of your home security agreement is up, you will likely be charged an early termination fee ranging from 75% to 100% of the remaining contract. If you only need home security for a short time, consider providers that offer month-to-month services — just keep in mind that you might have to spend more on upfront equipment costs.
Where can you buy security cameras?
You can buy home security cameras from online retailers and at stores like Best Buy and The Home Depot. For more, read our guide to buying the best home security cameras.

Bottom line: Are home security systems worth it?

Home security systems can deter burglars, summon emergency services with the press of a button and allow homeowners to monitor their property while they're away. While these systems can be expensive, the presence of a security system provides a real sense of comfort to a homeowner.

Consider if the upfront and monthly costs of a system can fit into your budget, and evaluate the crime rate in your area to determine if one of these systems is right for your home. Next, learn about how to find the best home security systems for renters.

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    Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.